Canadian 65 year immigrant refused pension without proof of immigration

Published:  16 Dec at 6 PM
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A 65-year-old woman who arrived in 1949 as a three-month old babe in arms with her parents has been refused her pension unless she can provide her immigration documents.

Bureaucracy run riot is alive and kicking in Canada, especially in the case of Martha Kozub, whose parents brought her from Germany to Canada after WWII. When she was 13 years old, she became a Canadian citizen and continued her education up to university level before teaching for 35 years in Canadian schools.

The crunch came when she applied for her Old Age Security pension, and was told she would not receive it until she could provide her original immigration documents. Her parents died many years ago, and she has no idea what happened to the paperwork, although she has suggested it may have been destroyed once the family gained citizenship.

In shock after receiving Immigration’s letter, she called the helpline and was informed that the only way to proceed was to authorise Services Canada to contact the immigration service and request the papers. She was given the option of contacting immigration herself and sending various forms of identification plus a fee of CA$30.

The do-it-yourself option, she was told, would take around six months to complete. During that time, her existing state pension would be reduced to allow for the Old Age Security pension to which she is entitled but will not receive until the bureaucratic wheels have finished grinding.

To Kuzub and many others who are following her story, immigration’s stance makes no sense at all. The department could, she says, with the click if a mouse, check her social insurance number against her tax records and verify her arrival via her citizenship certificate.

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